Google Stadia wants to be the Netflix of gaming

Google Stadia wants to be the Netflix of gaming


– So now we are focused
on our next big effort, which is to build a game
platform for everyone. – Google, this week,
announced a bold vision for the future of gaming. It’s a cloud gaming platform called Stadia and it’s the culmination of years of work the company has been doing
around networking technology and streaming video. Essentially, Google wants to build the Netflix of video games. That way, you could play
any game on any screen, any time you wanted, regardless of what
physical hardware you have. You wouldn’t even need a console or a PC. We’ve certainly heard this before. Maybe you remember OnLive or Gaikai, but Google says it has the infrastructure, the technology, and the resources
to finally pull this off — for real. Of course, Google isn’t alone here. Every big tech and gaming company is trying to figure out this tech. But earlier this week, at
GDC here in San Francisco, Google, one of the most powerful
and cash-flush companies in the entire tech industry, made a convincing case
that it’ll get there first. – With Stadia, we can all dream bigger and together, build a playground
for every imagination. Thank you. (audience clapping and yelling) – So how does Stadia work? Well, it’s a simple concept that is notoriously difficult to pull off. Cloud gaming, unlike music
streaming or television steaming, requires you run a game
remotely in a data center. That’s a huge shift and I talked to Phil Harrison, who now leads up the
Stadia project at Google, about what it all means. – We just broke through
that glass ceiling today by giving the entire data
center to the game developer and being completely device agnostic. And so, no, we don’t need a console and that’s the whole point. – So you essentially have
a PC on a server rack running a game in some
data center somewhere and it’s sending a video feed of that over the internet to your screen. Then you, as a player,
are pressing buttons on a controller and sending that input back over the internet. And all of that is supposed to happen with no latency, no lag, at
1080p, 60 frames per second. That’s pretty much unbelievable and historically, it hasn’t really worked. – No, we can’t beat the speed of light, but we can cheat it
enough that we can deliver a very, very high performance experience. Hence the reason why
we had id on our stage saying, Doom Eternal– – Will be capable of running
at true 4K resolution with HDR color at an unrelenting
60 frames per second. – Essentially, the company is making use of every critical part of its business to turn cloud gaming into a reality. The first piece is the Chrome browser, and by extension, the Chromecast dongle. That’s going to be how Google gets the video from the game on the
server in the data center all the way to your TV or whatever screen you’re playing Stadia on. The second piece is the
Android operating system. It’s the most ubiquitous OS on the planet and it’s going to be how Google gets Stadia running on mobile phones and tablets. The third piece is YouTube, and will enable all sorts
of futuristic features that will be huge selling points when the service launches. The first feature will
let you launch a game using Stadia with the press of a button just by watching a
YouTube video or stream. You’ll then be taken to that
exact point in the game. Another feature will be, when you’re watching a streamer
live stream on YouTube, they can invite you into the game, so with the press of a button you can queue up and play
with your favorite streamer. A third feature is an interesting one where you can use Google
Assistant to even cheat. You can press the Google Assistant button if you’re stuck on a
particularly hard puzzle on, say, Tomb Raider or a game like that, and it’ll overlay a YouTube video with a tutorial showing you how to beat that particular puzzle or
solve that particular problem. The fourth piece is Google’s
cloud and its data centers. That’s the backbone of the service and it’s what’s going to make it all work. And lastly, there is going to
be a bit of hardware. Google built its own Stadia controller, one that actually connects over Wi-Fi to Google’s data centers. That way, when you’re switching devices from a tablet to a phone, from a phone to a laptop, from a laptop to a TV, you won’t need to re-sync that controller to a new device every time. It’ll just communicate over the internet with the Stadia servers
and connect automatically. We saw most of these pieces
work together last fall in a trial run of sorts
called Project Stream and it did work quite well. It let players test the new
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on any device with a Chrome browser, so long as they had a 25 Mbps internet connection. But it wasn’t at anywhere near the scale Google is hoping for with Stadia when it’s supposed to launch and that has me a bit
uncertain and skeptical, and there’s good reason to be. Cloud gaming has been the holy grail of the industry for decades and a number of companies
have tried and failed to make it work. In this case, Google
hasn’t even talked about how much Stadia will cost or even if it’s a subscription service. It could just be a way to
play games you already own or games that you buy elsewhere in the cloud and on any screen. That’s a really interesting concept, but it’s not quite as ambitious as a full-blown, cloud-based
game-streaming service. There’s also a huge amount of
technical uncertainty here. Sure, Google has
state-of-the-art infrastructure and a data center operation that’s one of the robust
and biggest on the planet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be able to
stream millions of instances of games at 1080p, 60 frames per second to people with internet connections
that are varying wildly. And even then, even if you get
all that technical stuff down, well, you’re going to need games. Right now, the only launch
title confirmed for Stadia is id Software’s Doom Eternal. Now, id is saying Doom
Eternal’s going to be available on Stadia at 4K, 60 frames per second. That’s very impressive, but Google is going to
need more than one game to get people to use this service. With Stadia, Google is trying to change, not just how games are played, but how they’re developed,
how they’re distributed, and how they’re funded and sold. Netflix did this for TV and film, and changed Hollywood forever. Games could change similarly, but it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not clear Google is
going to be the one that wins. For instance, Microsoft
has its own xCloud service. Sony also has its own competing service called PlayStation Now, and you can even subscribe to that today. Not only that, but
Amazon, Verizon, Nintendo, and even EA, they’re all working
on cloud gaming right now. It’s a race to the future and Google has come out of
the gate harder and faster than any other company in the industry. But remember, it took years and years for Netflix and Spotify to
change how we consume TV, film, and music, and even then,
physical media still exists. By today’s standards,
it’s going to take us a while to get to where we’re going and gamers are notoriously stubborn when it comes to change, especially when the benefits
aren’t clearly obvious. But the promise of cloud gaming is there and with a company as big and
powerful as Google in the mix, that could give it the push
it really needs to happen. – One of the success
factors for me with Stadia is that three years from now, you and I meet here at
GDC or some other forum, and we’re talking about
a brand-new developer that none of us had heard of before who has built something so new that it’s pivoted the world
a little bit on its axis, then we would be considered successful.


100 thoughts on “Google Stadia wants to be the Netflix of gaming

  1. Well if it means no more errors like “Failed to download not enough hard drive space and memory to install game”

  2. Plase sue the thailand political party the new future party for using the same logo as you for party logo

  3. It does sound cool but they need to put better Wi-Fi services around the globe and it needs to be available in all regions

  4. They want to be loaded with a bunch of old or mediocre content you sign up for once every now and again to remember why you don't sign up? Gotcha.

  5. The analysis is so stupid, if it work with one game it will work for others, it is just a matter of time, if subscription with google cheaper than Xbox or other gaming companies, google will win.

    It is funny when he said that physical media still exist, that is true but it is less than 5% than what it was 15 years ago.

  6. 25mb/s nope…i dont think this i gonna work for everyone..not every human on the planet got 25…and internet speed in some countrys is just not that great and not everybody can afford that speed…so no…mmm what about microsoft with their cloud project they also announced how much speed bandwith u must have? they ask for less?

  7. I really hope consoles don't go away, buying the last gen console when it comes out and opening that new hardware is a joy that just never leaves you.

  8. Has Google forgot all about Geforce now cause I use that now and it works perfectly fine with good decent speeds

  9. It just isn't going to work. The idea is great but honestly very few people have the internet speed for things like this. What I would prefer is a small console that can be connected to different devices using different inputs, for example if you wanted to play on your phone you could buy a case that connects the console to the back of your phone and a small connector casting the gameplay to your phone. And when you play on TV you can just leave it on a stand and connect it to your TV using HDMI. I'm talking a console the size of a power bank that could be used in many ways depending on the gamers preference. The idea of this streaming games to your phone is a good idea but I honestly don't think that when it comes down to it, people are gonna wanna play competitive games when they are completely relying on their internet speed.

  10. Don't forget the forth piece. Linux and Vulkan. The games will be Linux headless builds using the Vulkan API

  11. Points that always seem to take a backseat to the obvious lag concerns:

    -Don't own the games like you do a physical copy or local storage
    -will be indefinitely paying $$$$ per day/week/month for the "Games as a service" 
    -takes up bandwidth from other media devices that is being used in the house
    -Net Neutrality gutted by ISPs will start offering "speed" packages
    -commercials/adds/marketing before, during, after and in game sessions.

    The games industry so far:

    -games as a service
    -Loot boxes
    -season passes
    -DRM
    -F2P/P4F/FREEMIUM egregious micro transaction models
    -online only single player games, gutting split screen, lan play (to force you to use online services)

    It doesn't end and only seems to get worse.

  12. If Google does somehow manage to pull this off. It'd be very smart if they don't create some application for this to run on iOS. Something like this is truly groundbreaking and if it was an Android exclusive, well that's way better than some stupid Animojis. With 5G coming just around the corner, support on mobile devices might be feasible.

  13. Nigerian 'prince' emails are still massively successful because there are massive number of gullible people.

    you don't pay now for things that sound too good to be true, but you will definitely pay later.

  14. With the second stream going to Youtube at full high res it seems like it would make streaming with this a must in the future. Also it seems like it will make Twitch streams look very low quality in comparison.

  15. I think you're severely underestimating just how good Google's data centers are, and just how many connections they have in the industry. Google runs their own internet service called Fiber. They have one of the largest fiber backbones out of any tech company in the world. They've been building data centers for longer than Amazon/AWS, and they have better custom chips for special cases like AI (cloud TPUs). Google also has a history of being the first to technological innovation, and I don't doubt that that's going to be the case with this.

  16. 4k is only as good as the wires or wireless router used. Most computers can't even produce 4k. Most homes, especially if it was built 5 yrs ago, don't even incorporate cat6 cable. Just because you have a 4k tv, doesn't mean you'll be using or seeing a 4k picture. Yet they (tech industry) keeps trying to sell you 4k goods. It's bogus. Now Google wants to control your tv, internet, and gaming all in the could? No thanks, I'll keep my computer and consoles. I'll also keep control of my own usage (as much control as we actually have.) I'm tired of getting spammed at every turn.

  17. For me it will be renessance of gaming. I have good notebook, but not so good for new games.
    I ready to pay 0.5$ per hour for this

  18. PS Now is pretty good for me. Granted I’m playing on a blazing gigabit hardwired connection and I still get ping spikes…plus I’d never play anything multiplayer on there…but it’s been a great way of catching up on old Sony titles.

  19. even when playing with my wireless controller (ps4 joystick) i can feel the lag vs when it's wired.
    and you want to make the controller talk with a server miles away -_-

  20. Role out Google Fibre in low internet speed Countries first.
    Then once most people are, or have access to wired, gigabit per second Internet or beyond.
    Then proceeded to lunch Stadia.

    Outerwise this will surely fail to gain widespread adoption.

    It also just so happens that most of the world's internet infrastructure is inadequate for the 21st-centry. Most Internet infrastructure is ether Cooper-fiber hybrid or low throughput fibre.

    Google is one of the few companies with the resources available to outlay Internet infrastructure sufficient for the 21st-century across the planet.

    Not only would this be good for humanity.
    The profit generation would be astronomical. Upon recouping the cost of the outlay of the infrastructure.

  21. It would be very interesting for Google to integrate this with consoles. Say, for example, Switch Online coming with Stadia for a small and affordable price bump. This would give the Switch a wide variety of games that you wouldn't really be able to play on Switch. A good idea, but unlikely.

  22. Actually they'll going to use a new algorithm which reduces the size of Streaming per sec. So, It's like we need less data for high quality video streaming. This isn't impossible yet masses are now streaming YouTube at 1080p without buffering or maybe 720p but yep it's possible just need to shorten up the video compressing.

  23. Internet structure, game collection, pricing…these will be solved over time. What makes me worry is that. Devs and publishers will push away from lpcal gaming structures, which doesnt soind like a gaming future i wish to be part of

  24. This will probably happen eventually but I'm not looking forward to it because if it's anything like streaming tv/movies we'll see a massive contraction in the selection of games available.

  25. In France, we already have this technology. The company is called "Shadow" and they do cloud computing, to play video games

  26. FFS i like my games on my shelf, and then sell it if I get bored with it. Anyways I could sell my account now.

  27. cloud gaming sux, the big picture is us giving up more digital freedoms so big tech co.'s have control over what we do digitally

  28. How about work on developing ultra fast satellite based internet with 0 latency issues, 0 data limits and virtually feasibility ANYWHERE at extremely low costs?
    Now THAT'S development! Internet in today's day and age is a necessity! Its been around for more than 30 damn years!

  29. Netflix of gaming? Does that mean they are going to be streaming anti-white games?

  30. 4k at 60fps… you could have said 4000k at 699fps and it could be the same, if the latency between button pressed and reaction is 2secs.. not saying it won't happen… but irrelevant numbers won't make u change gaming.

  31. Vortex has done it. Gcluster is a japenese cloud gaming service that has done this, so google can DEFINITELY do this.

  32. They did not mention GeForce Now a single time. It's capable of running 1080p 120fps with huge libery for free. What a joke.

  33. The Steam Link is not immune from lag at 1080p on a local gigabit cabled network, how Google expect to deliver 60fps 4K with a cloud gaming service?

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